The sounds of paper shuffling reverberated through council chambers Monday night as Corry City Council examined its proposed budget looking for ways to firm up revenue and cut expenses.

The hourlong work session marked the five-member board’s second public inspection of the city’s proposed $3,511,800 budget.

More paperwork needs to be done, as council looks for ways to balance the proposed budget that includes a projected capital shortfall of $151,715 at the end of 2009. The proposed budget also projects an additional $103,900 shortfall by the end of 2010, which adds up to a total projected deficit of $255,615 at the end of 2010.

Council focused on several line items in order to trim away budget fat.

As in 2009, when the board reduced the city’s 12-member police department to an 11-member force to help reduce costs and balance the budget, council eyed costs associated with maintaining the force.

Councilman Pat Migliaccio asked if there was a way to cut down on overtime costs in the police department. Council budgeted $46,100 for supplemental police salaries in 2009, but that figure is expected to reach $66,000 or more by year’s end. The proposed 2010 budget calls for $54,000 to be spent on supplemental salaries.

City Administrator Gerry Dahl explained that much of the 2009 overtime expense was incurred earlier in the year when two officers who were members of the Pennsylvania National Guard were absent from the force. The department is now at its full complement of 11 officers.

Migliaccio questioned if overtime costs could be reduced by limiting hours that additional police officers work during special events like CorryFest.

“Do we really need two officers in city park?” he said.

Dahl said the safety of citizens could be comprised if too few officers are readily available during a public event like CorryFest.

See the Journal's Tuesday, October 20th edition for full story.

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